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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

News Release

Department awards $3.2M to help West Virginia workers affected by coal mining industry layoffs rejoin workforce

Grant provides reemployment, training for more than 1,400 workers

WASHINGTON — As the demand for coal declines, industry workers are facing an increase in layoffs as employers adjust. In West Virginia alone, recent industry reductions have affected more than 9,200 people with more layoffs likely. As many as 1,100 additional workers face an uncertain future.

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the funding of a supplemental National Dislocated Worker Grant worth up to $7.6 million to provide for reemployment and training services in West Virginia. The grant's initial release of $3.2 million will assist about 900 participants enrolled in the grant project, and an additional 500 targeted participants impacted by recent layoffs.

In June 2012, the department awarded a $1.8 million grant to Workforce West Virginia to serve about 200 dislocated workers. Since then, the number of layoffs has grown with the decrease in demand for coal. As of June 30, 2015, the grant project has grown to include about 290 employers and about 900 former employees.

The state proposes to use the funds to continue to provide reemployment and training. Services include assessments, occupational guidance and counseling, on-the-job training, support services, job search, job placement and follow-up activities.

Funds will also support maintenance and staff of United Mine Workers Career Centers, established to serve the affected workers. This includes costs for a center in Pennsylvania to serve residents there who were dislocated from coal jobs in West Virginia.

The NDWG program is part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund. The department awards grants based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines.

ETA News Release: [10/06/2015]
Contact Name: Joe Versen
Phone Number: (202) 693-4696
Release Number: 15-1980-NAT